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A Century of Women’s Comics and Cartoon Art

Ladies First: A Century of Women’s Innovations in Comics and Cartoon Art
Nov. 2, 2019-May 3, 2020 at The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

above: the Jackie Ormes display (image via Pioneering Cartoonists of Color Facebook)

Jackie Ormes, Rose O’Neill, Lynn Johnston, Edwina Dumm, Alison Bechdel. Nell Brinkley, and more.

From the Columbus Alive article:

A century ago, visual artists played a huge role in the way people and movements were perceived. Before TV and movies, the way a person or an idea was represented pictorially in newspapers and periodicals propagated certain ideas and downplayed others. And in the beginning of the women’s suffrage movement, men were drawing highly offensive cartoons that depicted suffragettes as loud-mouthed blowhards in bloomers who wanted to put men in cages.

That conception of a suffragette permeated popular culture, which made even other women recoil from the movement. Then Nina Allender came along. As the official cartoonist of periodical The Suffragist, Allender depicted the women of the movement as young, stylish and savvy.

“She’s considered the person who helped most to rebrand the image of the suffragette and show that it could be any woman and every woman, and that you weren’t this — what they called then — ‘unsexed woman,’” said Caitlin McGurk, who, along with Rachel Miller, curated a new exhibition at Ohio State’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum titled “Ladies First: A Century of Women’s Innovations in Comics and Cartoon Art,” which opens on Saturday, Nov. 2, and runs through May 3, 2020.

Details at The Billy Ireland Ladies First page.

Curated by Caitlin McGurk and Rachel Miller, the exhibit features works by Nina Allender, Dale Messick, Aline Kominsky Crumb, Lynda Barry, June Tarpe Mills, Dori Seda, Barbara Brandon-Croft, Trina Robbins, Marie Severin, Liana Finck, Wendy Pini, Kate Salley Palmer, Carta Monir, and dozens more.

above: Nina Allender cover



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